Best Facts of the Month - Page 8

Jimi Hendrix had to learn to play guitar right-handed because his father believed playing left-handed was a sign of the Devil.


Jimi Hendrix loved smashing his guitar to pieces after a searing finale, or lighting it on fire. He made it his trademark to play a right-handed guitar with his left hand. Hendrix could play with either hand, a technique he found useful when sponsoring guitars in music stores where left-handed axes were scarce. He could probably credit his ambidexterity to his father’s sternness.

Hendrix was raised solely by his father ever since he came back from World War II when Hendrix was three. It was his father who taught him to play an acoustic guitar. And he taught him right-handed. Hendrix naturally played left-handed, much to the dismay of his father, who thought playing left-handed was a sign of the Devil!

Before beginning his successful career with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hendrix was inspired by the Greenwich Village music scene in New York. He began using drugs like marijuana, cocaine and pep pills. On September 17, 1970 Hendrix took too many sleeping pills and thereafter died from choking on his own vomit.

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The man who grounded 4,000 planes on 9/11 was on first day of his job


On September 11, 2001, four commercial planes were hijacked by foreign terrorists. All other commercial flights were grounded that day, which ended up being a great and potentially life-saving decision. No other planes were able to be hijacked.

Amazingly, the man who ordered the grounding of over 4,000 commercial flights in the United States was on his first day on the job when he made the call. Ben Sliney, the Federal Aviation Administration's National Operations Manager made this unprecedented call. He had no input from the President of the United States or the bureaucracy above him.

However, it's not like Sliney was totally new to the profession. Before signing on as the FAA's National Operations Manager, he held a leadership position at New York's TRACON, which was responsible for all the air traffic in the New York City area. His call was still a heroic one though. So much so that he was asked to portray himself in Universal Pictures' film "United 93."

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Inca surgeons in the year 1000 performed cranium surgery!


When you imagine ancient surgeons, you may wince thinking about the primitive techniques. However, it turns out that Incan surgeons were quite skilled. Judging from remains found in Peru from as far back as 1000 AD, researchers found that surgical techniques were standardized and continually improved upon.

One procedure, known as "trepanation," involved removing part of the skull to treat head injuries. While it may sound counterproductive, it worked. Or it eventually did. Skulls from around 1000 AD show little signs of bone healing, which means that the patient likely died after the procedure. However, by the 1400s, the fatality rate was down to just 10%.

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British Intelligence considered giving Hitler estrogen.


rWhether they were considering giving Hitler estrogen to get rid of his iconic mustache, or merely to temper his aggressive behavior, historians have discovered a plan by the British Intelligence to administer estrogen to Hitler. 

Perhaps it was decided that Hitler was unstable enough without messing with his hormones, but, in any case, the plan was not put into action. Interestingly enough, the British Intelligence did have the means and people in place capable of dosing Hitler’s food. 

One might think it might be more useful to poison Hitler, but the British Intelligence had an answer for that too: Hitler’s food was tested for poison, but estrogen, which is flavorless, would go unnoticed. Throughout history, intelligence agencies have employed or considered employing new science in secretive ways to affect politics. At one point, the CIA had a plan to poison Fidel Castro so that his beard would fall out. 

There is poop on the moon and there are people fighting to preserve it!


When you think of the things the first Apollo mission left on the moon, you think of the famous American flag; however, that is not the only thing that was left on the Bay of Tranquility. Neil Armstrong left a pair of his boots, a gold replica of an olive branch, tongs, four armrests, urine collection assemblies, a hammer, an insulating blanket, and... four defecation collection devices. Yes, Neil’s poop stayed back.

There’s a group of extreme heritage conservationists that are concerned about these items’ protection. They fear that one day soon, private enterprises will land on the moon and endanger the Apollo landing site. Their website says that the Federal Government isn’t concerned with their preservation right now and they want people to take action. Want to? Learn more here

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